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Trump is Not a Normal President

National Mall 3/4 empty for Trump inaugural

Donald Trump is not a normal president. Be suspicious of anyone who treats him as normal.

Trump is not strong. He never takes on anyone more powerful than he is. He only targets the weak (clean air and Big Bird are among his first targets). That makes him a bully.

Look at that picture of the National Mall this morning. For Obama’s inaugural in 2008, the Mall was full by early morning. For Trump’s inaugural, it’s mostly empty. It’s a strong argument that Trump voters don’t support him or his policies & just voted for him as an anarchic protest vote.

His supporters are desperately insisting that Trump be treated with respect based on norms – the same norms Trump is constantly trampling. Anyone who demands Trump be defined only as a legitimate president based only on his Electoral College win is trying to excuse everything that came after it. They want you to forget Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes with a significantly lower percent of the popular vote (46.1%) than Mitt Romney (47.2%).

Legitimacy is earned. Obama and even George W. Bush immediately worked to reach out to all Americans after their wins and selected cabinets that were mainstream.

In contrast, Trump has spent every day since the election either holed up inside his palace or holding victory rallies reliving his victory last fall. He’s put up a series of cabinet nominees who are fringe anti-public good extremists, vulture capitalist billionaires, or both. He lies constantly, even about trivial things. It’s left Trump as a historically unpopular president-elect, with almost twice as many opponents than supporters. Donald Trump is already less popluar than President Obama has ever been at any point in his eight years as president.

Trump will be violating the Constitution’s prohibition of taking payoffs from foreign governments the moment he takes the oath of office. His ties to Russia are clear and treasonous. It’s not “conflicts of interest.” It’s corruption.

Donald Trump will be the most corrupt president ever. Nixon and Bush were terrible presidents, but I never doubted that they did what they did because they thought it was best for America. Donald Trump is in this to enrich & empower himself and his friends – some of them Russian.

Many journalists and political pundits will seek to fit Trump into their world view and as a result normalize him. Seek out people who’ll tell you the reality that America is going off the tracks and only unrelenting resistance and activism will save us.

Pundits constantly tell us gerrymandering has left House Republicans immune to public pressure, but look at how quickly public outrage forced them to reverse course on gutting the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Resistance works. Protests and marches work. Phone calls work.

Let’s work harder than ever.

  • Rep. Gerry Connolly tweets on Trump’s inauguration speech


  • Dan Rather:

    And so it begins.

    Of the nearly 20 inaugurations I can remember, there has never been one that felt like today. Not even close. Never mind the question of the small size of the crowds, or the boycott by dozens of lawmakers, or even the protest marches slated for tomorrow across the country. Those are plays upon the stage. What is truly unprecedented in my mind is the sheer magnitude of quickening heartbeats in millions of Americans, a majority of our country if the polls are to be believed, that face today buffeted within and without by the simmering ache of dread.

    I have never seen my country on an inauguration day so divided, so anxious, so fearful, so uncertain of its course.

    I have never seen a transition so divisive with cabinet picks so encumbered by serious questions of qualifications and ethics.

    I have never seen the specter of a foreign foe cast such a dark shadow over the workings of our democracy.

    I have never seen an incoming president so preoccupied with responding to the understandable vagaries of dissent and seemingly unwilling to contend with the full weight and responsibilities of the most powerful job in the world.

    I have never seen such a tangled web of conflicting interests.

    Despite the pageantry of unity on display at the Capitol today, there is a piercing sense that we are entering a chapter in our nation’s evolving story unlike one ever yet written. To be sure, there are millions of Donald Trump supporters who are euphoric with their candidate’s rise. Other Trump voters have expressed reservations, having preferred his bluster to his rival’s perceived shortcomings in the last election, but admitting more and more that they are not sure what kind of man they bestowed the keys to the presidency. The rest of America – the majority of voters – would not be – and indeed is not – hesitant in sharing its conclusions on the character and fitness of Donald Trump for the office he now holds.

    The hope one hears from even some of Donald Trump’s critics is that this moment might change him. Perhaps, as he stood there on a grey, drab, January day, reciting the solemn oath of office demanded by our Constitution, as he looked out across what Charles Dickens once called the “city of magnificent intentions”, he would somehow grasp the importance of what he was undertaking. Perhaps he would understand that he must be the president of all the United States, in action as well as in word. Perhaps, but there has already been so much past that is prologue.

    There is usually much fanfare around inaugural addresses. They are also usually forgotten – with some notable exceptions. I think today will be remembered, not so much for the rhetoric or the turns of phrase but for the man who delivered them and the era they usher us forth.

    Mr. Trump’s delivery was staccato and there was very little eye contact as he seemed to be reading carefully from a teleprompter. His words and tone were angry and defiant. He is still in campaign mode and nary a whiff of a unifying spirit. There was little or nothing of uplift – the rhetoric of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, or Reagan. We heard a cavalcade of slogans and one liners, of huge promises to “bring back” an America – whatever that really means to many who look at our history and see progress in our current society.

    The speech started with a message of an establishment in Washington earning riches on the back of struggling families across the country. It was an odd note, considering the background of many of his cabinet picks. President Trump painted a very dark picture of the current state of our nation, beset by gangs and drugs and violence, regardless of what the data shows. His words swelled with his economic populism and the nationalism of “America first.” The applause was sparse, and I imagine many more being turned off, even sickened, rather than inspired by what our new President had to say. President Obama looked on with an opaque poker face. One could only imagine what he was thinking.

    It bears remembering that one never can predict the arc of a presidency. It is an office that is far too often shaped by circumstance well beyond its occupant’s control. Those challenges, wherever and however they may rise, now will fall on the desk of President Trump. We can only see what will happen. We hope, for the security and sanctity of our Republic, that Mr. Trump will respond to the challenges with circumspection and wisdom. Today’s rhetoric was not reassuring.

    Our democracy demands debate and dissent – fierce, sustained, and unflinching when necessary. I sense that tide is rising amongst an opposition eager to toss aside passivity for action. We are already seeing a more emboldened Democratic party than I have witnessed in ages. It is being fueled by a fervent energy bubbling from the grassroots up, rather than the top down.

    These are the swirling currents about our ship of state. We now have a new and untested captain. His power is immense, but it is not bestowed from a divinity on high. It is derived, as the saying goes, from the consent of the governed. That means President Trump now works for us – all of us. And if he forgets that, it will be our duty to remind him.

    • Top comment (6,900+ “likes” so far) on Dan Rather’s post:

      Just a few things I’ve heard the last two months:

      1. Give him a chance.
      2. Maybe it won’t be that bad.
      3. All politicians are horrible.
      4. He’ll get better once in office.

      Just a few things I’ve heard from victims of domestic violence.
      1. I’ll just give him another chance
      2. It’s not that bad.
      3. All men are like this.
      4. He’ll get better once we’re married.

      Just a few things I’ve heard months/years later:
      1. She’s dead
      2. She’s in a coma
      3. He killed her child.
      4. He’s now beating his new girlfriend.

      He is not well. He is mentally ill on a multitude of levels. He is that guy who punched you in the face then said it was your fault. He’s the guy who raped your 10 year old daughter then said she seduced him. He’s the guy who smacked the ice cream out of your hand and called you a disgusting pig. I will not give him a chance. This is not a liberal/conservative thing. At this point I would be thrilled to have Mitt Romney as president. I’d even take George W. Bush. Donald Trump isn’t just someone I disagree with on policy and economy. He is a terrifying, sick, monster. He’s a pathological liar and a sex offender. He is not my president. He never will be.

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  • Video: Alec Baldwin Does Donald Trump Impression At Michael Moore’s Donald Trump NYC Protest


  • Video: The same guy who said Hillary Clinton should be “locked up” now says “I have a lot of respect” for the Clintons. Alrighty then…